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How To Choose The Right Document Management System For You

So you’re stuck between choosing different document management systems (DMS)?

Don’t know what features you need?

And do you even actually need a DMS at all?

In this article, I’ll take you through all those questions to help you decide.

So read on!

What is a document management system workflow?

A document management system consists of processes such as:

  • Creation
  • Management
  • Review
  • Approval
  • Storage
  • Distribution

In a nutshell, DMS is responsible for taking care of your digital documents during all stages of production.

A document management system workflow can also automate your business procedures. The result? Streamlined operations and a bunch of time saved!

But do you actually need a DMS in your life?

The answer is yes.

Why do you need a document management system?

There are a number of reasons, so let’s explore them in more detail.

Increased efficiency 

Document management systems simplify document-related tasks and minimize errors.

It’ll also reduce the need for constant document reviews.

And all this will increase efficiency in your business because speed and accuracy are paramount.

Improved collaboration

Is your team office-based or working remotely?

In both cases, a DMS will make it much easier for them to collaborate on documents in real-time.

You’ll notice improved communication, coordination, and teamwork across the board.

Enhanced compliance

Let’s be real, legal compliance matters in business.

But how can document management software workflow help?

Well, it all boils down to management. A DMS will have tracking features, allowing you to approve, review, and store documents in accordance with legal policies and regulations.

Boosted security

A document management workflow provides access to encryption and audit trails.

This means that it protects sensitive information from unauthorized access, modification, or deletion.

Cost saving

A DMS will save you loads of money.

Gone are the days of paper-based document management. Printing and storing documents can add up to around $47 million! That’s a massive amount of money you can avoid spending.

And there’s more!

You’ll also minimize the risk of lost, damaged, or misplaced documents which can result in significant financial and legal consequences.

Challenges of document management system workflow 

Implementing a document management system can also pose some challenges you need to be aware of.

Employee resistance

Some people are creatures of habit. Some are stuck in their ways. And introducing a DMS inevitably implies change.

This means that some of your employees may struggle with getting used to utilizing the new technology.

For this reason, ongoing training and gradual exposure to the new product may be beneficial.


Being able to integrate your new software with the ones you’re already using can be challenging. Particularly if the systems are not compatible or require significant customization.

That’s why choosing the right DMS tool for you is so vital.


The intricacies of a document management system workflow vary. So how easy it’ll be to use a DMS will depend on the size of your organization. 

Managing a large number of documents and workflows can be challenging and may require careful planning and training.


The costs of DMS implementation can be high.

This is not only because it requires you to purchase the software itself. You may need additional hardware, too. Extra staff training may also come with some added costs.

That being said, your long-term savings will be much more significant than the initial investment.

Choosing the right document management system for your business 

Deciding on the right DMS can be a critical decision that affects your overall business success.

So here are some factors to consider before choosing your document management system:

1. Identify your business needs 

Begin by determining your business needs and requirements.

Specify what types of documents you need to manage, how many documents you have, and what workflows and processes you need to automate.

2. Evaluate your current systems

Consider your current document management systems, processes, and workflows. 

Pinpoint areas where you need improvement and what features and functionalities you need in a DMS.

3. Consider scalability

Assess the scalability of the DMS. 

Choose a DMS that can grow with your business and adapt to the changing business market.

4. Examine security features

What are the security features of the DMS?

Look for one that offers strong security measures, such as access controls, encryption, and audit trails to protect your sensitive information.

5. Think about integration capabilities

Consider the integration capabilities of the DMS. 

Your new DMS should integrate with your other business systems, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), or accounting software.

6. Evaluate user-friendliness

You should pick a user-friendly DMS. 

Is it easy to use? Does it have a simple, intuitive interface that your employees can quickly learn?

7. Review customer support

Consider the level of customer support provided by the DMS vendor. 

Your vendor should offer comprehensive customer support, including training and technical support.

8. Estimate pricing

Evaluate the pricing of the DMS. 

Document management software should fit your budget and provide good value for money.

Document management system best practices

So you’ve got your new DMS installed and ready to use.

Now’s the time to learn some best practices to ensure that the processes end up being efficient, consistent, and effective.

  1. Define the steps documents must follow, from creation to disposal. 
  2. Ensure that the workflow is consistent with the organization’s policies and procedures.
  3. Assign a designated person responsible for completing the task.
  4. Establish deadlines for each step in the workflow. 
  5. Use document templates to ensure that documents are consistent in format and content. 
  6. Automate the workflow to reduce the time and effort required to manage documents. 
  7. Version control ensures that only the latest version of a document is used. 
  8. Enforce security measures to control access to documents.
  9. Provide training to your team on how to use the DMS.
  10. Regularly monitor and evaluate the workflow to identify areas for improvement. 

These steps are vital in establishing a good working knowledge of a DMS and will help you make the most of your new software.

A word of warning 

Choosing the right document management system for your business may be tricky at first. You may end up overwhelmed with all the choices available. But don’t panic!

Feel free to come back to this article whenever you need guidance. After all, the right DMS will make your processes faster, simpler, and more efficient.

Take control of your workflows today